My Name Is Leon

My Name Is Leon

A Novel

Book - 2016 | First Simon & Schuster edition.
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For fans of The Language of Flowers , a sparkling, big-hearted, page-turning debut set in the 1970s about a young black boy's quest to reunite with his beloved white half-brother after they are separated in foster care.

Leon loves chocolate bars, Saturday morning cartoons, and his beautiful, golden-haired baby brother. When Jake is born, Leon pokes his head in the crib and says, "I'm your brother. Big brother. My. Name. Is. Leon. I am eight and three quarters. I am a boy." Jake will play with no one but Leon, and Leon is determined to save him from any pain and earn that sparkling baby laugh every chance he can.

But Leon isn't in control of this world where adults say one thing and mean another, and try as he might he can't protect his little family from everything. When their mother falls victim to her inner demons, strangers suddenly take Jake away; after all, a white baby is easy to adopt, while a half-black nine-year-old faces a less certain fate. Vowing to get Jake back by any means necessary, Leon's own journey--on his brand-new BMX bike--will carry him through the lives of a doting but ailing foster mother, Maureen; Maureen's cranky and hilarious sister, Sylvia; a social worker Leon knows only as "The Zebra"; and a colorful community of local gardeners and West Indian political activists.

Told through the perspective of nine-year-old Leon, too innocent to entirely understand what has happened to him and baby Jake, but determined to do what he can to make things right, he stubbornly, endearingly struggles his way through a system much larger than he can tackle on his own. My Name Is Leon is a vivid, gorgeous, and uplifting story about the power of love, the unbreakable bond between brothers, and the truth about what, in the end, ultimately makes a family.
Publisher: New York : Simon and Schuster, 2016.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster edition.
ISBN: 9781501117459
Branch Call Number: FIC DeWaa
Characteristics: 292 pages ; 22 cm


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Mar 21, 2017

This is a lovely book, told without sentimentality. Leon's voice is very well done. Unfortunately, although there are some kind and caring people, Leon's experience does not correspond to the majority of children in care.

archreads Feb 14, 2017

Told from 9 year old Leon's perspective, this debut takes place in England in the 1970's.
It is a well written and very touching commentary on foster care and multiple social issues. Even with all the obstacles in his path, Leon is very inspirational.

Feb 03, 2017

Such a great story. Two brothers who end up in foster care, then these boys get parted. Told through the eyes of an 9 year old. It's very touching & insightful. It's a sad story & yet at the same time comforting. We live in a world gone wrong but there is still hope out there. Well done Kit De Waal.

Sep 26, 2016

Heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. Leon's courage and anger are so relatable and you just want to see him reunited with his family.

jabberbooky Sep 23, 2016

Interesting insights into the tricky world of foster care. In this case in England. There is racism, but there is hope also. I especially enjoyed Leon's voice as he describes his life as it happens to him.

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